Nigerian Women’s Olympic Bobsled team members Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga were all born in the United States, but that doesn’t make them any less Nigerian. The trio have actually been sensitive to that perception, and visited their ancestral homeland with the goal of forming a connection with the people. The three athletes made wonderful impressions upon their return; their choice to represent their parents’ native country rather than vying for spots on the American team helped.
The phenomenal threesome has already made history as the first African team to qualify for the Bobsled category. "This is a huge milestone for sports in Nigeria," Seun Adigun tells KweséESPN. "Nothing makes me prouder than to know that I can play a small role in creating opportunities for winter sports to take place in Nigeria...Our objective now is to be the best representation of Africa that the Winter Olympics have ever witnessed." So far, so good.
The crew automatically broke ground in moving from the first African team to qualify, to the first African team to compete. For countries with climates not conducive to winter sports, these competitions can fly below the radar or even worse, seem impossible to reach. Adigun, Onwumere and Omeoga are acutely aware of that sentiment, and intend to inspire native Nigerian girls to follow in their footsteps. “Having young girls and women in general be able to see us on the screen and know that we have done this and it’s doable is extremely important,” Ngozi Onwumere tells The New York Times. “To be able to truly represent Nigeria, you’re going to need homegrown athletes that are going to be involved.” While speaking to the Times about her introversion and the toll that the high volume of media coverage was taking, Adigun reiterated the driving force behind their efforts. “This is something that will help the sport, something that will help women, the country, the continent.”